Bois de Breed
The Bois de Boulogne is one of the most elegant heavy horses, dating from the times of ancient Rome, although this breed was officially recognized only in the 17th century.
Its homeland is northwestern France, as well as Percheron. Breed massive horses bred on the coast of the Pas-de-Calais long before the Christian period. Arab blood has flowed into this breed more than once. This happened for the first time when Roman legionnaires brought along eastern horses and settled in northwestern France before their invasion of Britain. Later the knights came to Flanders and the Spanish occupation began. These two events led to the emergence of oriental and Andalusian blood in Boulogne. In the fourteenth century, the blood of the Mecklenburg horse from Germany was poured into the Bois de Boulogne horse with the aim of breeding a powerful horse capable of carrying knights with heavy uniforms.
The name “Bois de Boulogne” dates back to the seventeenth century and reflects the eponymous name of the main breeding area of this breed on the northern coast of France. Unfortunately, the number of Boulogne horses declined drastically during the First World War, as the main breeding centers were in the zone of decisive fighting. As soon as the breed began to recover, the Second World War broke out. These two catastrophes plus the total mechanization that followed them almost killed the beautiful horse forever. And only thanks to the efforts of a number of enthusiasts, this breed survived. Now we can see a bouillon working in the field on small farms, where it turned out that he is much more efficient than a tractor. Boulognec is famous for its energy and endurance, as well as its ability to maintain high speed over long distances. Because of this, it is often used to improve other heavy breeds, just as the English thoroughbred horse – to improve riding horses.
The Boulogne horse was bred of two types: a large heavy type for working in the field and a smaller type (150-155 cm at the withers), suitable for working on small farms and in light harness. For some time, a smaller type was known as a mareeur or mareyeur (fish merchant), because it was used to quickly transport their Boulogne fish to Paris (less than 24 hours), for which they were ideally suited for their fast, energetic and steady trot. Now these breed abilities are remembered every two years in a traditional team race called “Fish Road”. In the seventeenth century, the Boulogne horses began to enjoy an excellent reputation from merchants from Picardy and Normandy, who came to buy good animals for resale and personal use. Today, the smaller type has almost disappeared. The larger type is used primarily in harness or for the meat industry.
Now gray is the most common color in the breed, varying from light gray to black in gray, but in the 18th century there were often black or dark-bay suits. In our time, an attempt is being made to restore these suits with the help of Aesop’s black stallion. Occasionally there are red horses. Body structure: an elegant head with a smooth profile, a wide forehead and large, clear, expressive eyes; strong jaws; small mobile ears; expressive nostrils with small lips (mares have a more elegant head); powerful muscular neck with a thick short mane; well muscled shoulder with expressive withers; wide, even back; deep chest and rounded ribs; rounded muscular croup with a high, dense tail; strong muscular legs.
Despite the power and considerable size, the features of the Bulyunts keep the influence of Arab ancestors. This is manifested, above all, both in the light dry head with expressive eyes and in its beautiful character, and in its excellent movements. Boulogne is able to reach speed so quickly that it is often used as a horse of a carriage. About the Bois de Boulogne is often spoken of as the most elegant breed among all the heavy trucks.
Now the Bois de Boulogne can be found in some north-western regions of France, as well as in Belgium and Germany. According to the catalog of Bois de Boulogne horses for 2000, there are 391 breeders and owners of this breed in the world. 56 stallions approved for breeding. The French state is given full support for the breeding of this breed. One of the most famous factories is the stud farm in Öterpin, which has been owned by Baron of Gerlicort for centuries.
Height is 155 – 170 cm.
Weight 650 – 900 kg.
Color all shades of gray suit.